NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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関宿の町並み Sekijyuku-no-Matinami The Streetscapes of Sekijuku

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Sekijuku, located in Seki-cho, Kameyama-shi, Mie Prefecture, is the only place where the past has left a trace of the memories of the Tokaido, the old coastal road between Edo and Kyoto.

Seki-cho lies at the eastern foot of Mt Suzuka. Isesuzuka-no-seki was originally a checkpoint in Seki-cho, that, along with Echizen-no-arachi and Mino-no-Fuwa, was one of three major checkpoints along the Tokaido. (A 'seki' or 'sekisho' was a barrier station on thoroughfares between provinces, where the movement of criminals, weapons, hostages, etc. could be checked.)

The current structure of the town was probably created by Seki Morinobu, who also constructed neighboring roads and the town of Nakamachi, which lies between Shinsho and Kizaki. As time passed, the streets of Nakamachi and the town itself grew and developed eastwards, eventually becoming the larger town it is today. By the late Edo period, Sekijuku had become the main post station on the Tokaido Shukuba.

In 1984, Sekijuku was designated as an Important Historic Preservation District. The Seki-Jizoin, which was nominated as an Important National Cultural Property can also be found in this district. The streets of Sekijuku are a precious reminder of the history of the Tokaido.
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